Re: Role-based Help

Subject: Re: Role-based Help
From: Chris Despopoulos <despopoulos_chriss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 01:57:29 -0700 (PDT)

You should look at Eclipse.  It has a concept of help that shows topics for the plug-ins you currently have loaded.  Eclipse is an interesting product...  The bare-bones core is essentially a server that manages feature modules. One of those modules is the Help system.  At least that's how it was in 2006 or so when I last looked at using Eclipse as a help server.  (Yes, at least back then you could install a stand-alone Eclipse that only served Help...  And it's an open license.)  The theory is that you could exploit the Eclipse capability to show/hide "plug-in" docs...  Find the trigger that tells it to recognize this or that module of documentation.  Whether this could seamlessly "blur" the topics into a continuous hierarchy, I don't know.  (I never got beyond the presentation to my department...  Doc departments are known for their inertia.)

The time is fast approaching when this capability will be a requirement.  Products are leaving the desktop and emigrating to variable constellations of virtual servers.  Shoot, even the desktop can be virtualized.  Fasten your seat belts...


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